In this lesson, students will compare and contrast a variety of online social networking platforms and build an understanding of how they work to share messages. They will reflect on basic online rules and explore concepts of safety and privacy when accessing and sharing information online.
Level: Grades 4 to 6
About the Author: This lesson was written for MediaSmarts by Ethan Anderson
Duration: 1-2 hours
In this lesson, students consider the positive aspects of video games as well as the ways in which games may take time away from other activities they enjoy. Students are introduced to the idea of balancing game and screen time with other parts of their lives and learn about the reasons why they may be tempted to spend more time playing games or find it difficult to stop playing. They then keep a diary of their game play (or another screen activity if they do not play video games) that prompts them to reflect on their gaming habits. Partway through that process, they are introduced to techniques that will help them moderate their game play and deal with the difficulties they may feel reducing game time. Finally, students reflect on the experience and develop a plan to make their game play more mindful.
In this lesson, students will gain a greater understanding of how messages are sent and received over the Internet. They will analyze three videos to identify key information and vocabulary that will help them to continue constructing their Online Dictionaries from Lesson 1.
In this lesson students will identify and classify their own interactions with the Internet and will engage in a collaborative critical thinking activity that will have them examine the Internet from a variety of perspectives.
In this lesson students are introduced to the concept of "avatars" and share their experiences creating and playing avatars in video games and virtual worlds. They then create avatars using a program that is intentionally limited in terms of available body types and gender markers, first creating an avatar of their own gender and then of the opposite gender, and then discuss the program and relate it to representations of gender and body image in games and virtual worlds and in other media. Students then create avatars using a much more flexible version of the program and compare that experience to the more limited version. Finally, students use the more versatile program to create avatars that represent how they see themselves and how they would like others to see them online and reflect on the choices that went into creating them.
In this lesson, students consider the role of snack foods in a healthy diet. The teacher then guides them on a tour of popular sites aimed at children, where the class identifies and classifies the advertising encountered there and looks at how the food products being advertised fit – or don’t fit – in the food groups found in the Canada Food Guide. Students then play the game Co-Co’s AdverSmarts to understand some of the techniques used by online food marketers and then create their own mock website promoting a healthy diet.
In this lesson, students consider the importance of the written and unwritten rules that make it possible to learn and play together, online and offline.
This lesson introduces the students to the first steps in finding information on the Internet. Specifically, this lesson helps students understand the basic good practices of searching for something online: be accompanied by a trusted adult, start with a safe site and understand the use and power of using good links and keywords to find what they are looking for and to avoid bad results.
In this lesson, students look at the different ways in which we spend our free time and learn to find balance between active, learning and media activities. They begin by distinguishing between Active, Learning and Screen time, learn how activities can fall into more than one category; and reflect on their lives to see how well screen time is balanced by other types of activities. Finally, students consider how they might improve how their time is balanced.